The Moistest Coffee Cake in the World.

It is a rainy day in good old Plattsburgh, the kind of day I just love. It is the sort of day where you curl up with a good book, a cup of tea, and a slice of coffee cake. I have to work today, so there will be no books for me, but I did enjoy a slice of my delicious coffee cake with a cup of my favorite tea, Irish Breakfast.

Tea and a slice of cake

The Moistest Coffee Cake on the Planet

(Easily veganized by replacing margarine and oil.)

Cake:

1 ½ cup unbleached flour
¾ cup turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon,
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
Dash of sea salt
¼ cup butter or margarine (this is about 4 and ½ tablespoons)
¼ cup applesauce
½ cup vanilla rice milk

Crumbly topping:

Mix the following together in a small bowl and set aside-
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon of unbleached flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
½ cup broken nuts (optional)

Pre heat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix melted butter or margarine, applesauce, rice milk, and vanilla together in a bowl. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Next, add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing well. Pour the mixture into a well-greased pan and sprinkle with the crumbly topping. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven size. Check the center with a toothpick after 25 minutes to see how well done the center is. If it comes out clean, you are all set.

I have made this cake dozens of times since the original recipe was passed down to me. However, I have tweaked this cake so many times, it hardly looks like the recipe I was given so long ago.

Here are some adjustments you can make for this cake:

-Use organic oatmeal in place of the chopped nuts in the crumbly topping.
-Use the same measure oil instead of butter or margarine while making the cake. Vegetable oil works well and a light olive oil also works. However, you have to use melted margarine while making the crumbly topping.
-Mix a ½ cup of chopped nuts in the batter.
-Halve the batter and sprinkle some of the crumbly topping between the two layers.

Have a great day and keep cooking! The next time we meet, I will show you how to make a quick salad that uses up the massive basil crop from your garden!

The Loneliness of the Lone Kool-Aid Pickle

First off, if you can guess what song I am referencing, I will just be flat out tickled.

Okay, so Kool-Aid pickles. I know I have been teasing you all for about a week regarding these darn things, but believe me the wait was worth it.

I used this recipe to make them, but I tweaked it a little bit. I used:
-Cheap store brand dill pickle spears (24 oz. jar)
-One package of Tropical Punch Kool-Aid mix
-¾ cup of Sugar in the Raw
-Enough water to fill the jar without it spilling over, but enough to cover all of the pickles

I also shook the jar several times during the days they were pickling.

These babies sat in the fridge for thirteen days. I think that’s what made them so tasty. I also think the flavor of Kool-Aid makes a difference. Tropical Punch has always been my favorite.

Now, let’s move on to the taste test. The aroma is delightful. The smell brought me back to a time of scraped knees and Kool-Aid moustaches. Considering how “creatively” I ate as a child, had I known about these over twenty years ago, I would have made them.

I used the cheaper pickles in case they turned out gross. I didn’t want to waste my expensive organic ones. I think the cheap pickles make a difference. Usually cheap pickles are a soggy, tasteless disappointment, but when you pickle them with Kool-Aid, the flavor is out of this world!

For the record, I pretty much hate sweet pickles. However, these have a taste that is not too sweet and has just enough of a dill tang to be satisfying. Crisp and delicious, these pickles are juicy and full of flavor. They are not high fructose syrup-y like most other sweet pickles.

I would recommend making these to anyone. I encourage you to follow my tweaking if you don’t like super sugary foods. This is the perfect ratio for a sweet, yet tangy treat!

I am bringing them to work today for my co-workers to sample. I am an AM radio disc jockey and I have mentioned these pickles on the air. Since doing so, I have had listeners stop by the station or stop me in public to ask how they turned out. Today they will get their answer.

Speaking of work, I am back to working full time for the next few months. I have been quite busy, which explains the lack of updates. But, when I return later this week, I promise I will show you all how to make my “It’s a Sham!” salad sandwiches, a treat for all of you who miss eating ham salad sandwiches.

Have a great day and keep cooking!

Mexican pizza and string bean salad

I present to you, Mexican pizzas and Mexican string bean salad!

The pizzas are pretty self-explanatory, but I will give you some info about the tortillas.

I heated about a tablespoon or two of olive oil in the bottom of a cast iron frying pan (the only type of pan I use). When the oil was nice and hot, I put the tortilla in the pan, letting it fry for about 20-25 seconds, popping any bubbles that formed with a fork. When they were done frying, I placed them on a paper towel to absorb any excess grease.

The refried beans were jazzed up with some garlic sautéed down in some olive oil, a little juice from the homemade salsa and a generous sprinkling of this.

As for toppings, I used a combination of cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, red leaf lettuce, homemade salsa, black olives, and sour cream. You could use some meat analogs or different veggies, depending on your taste.

Here is the recipe for the string bean salad:

Mexican String Bean Salad

4 cups fresh string beans, boiled with a vegetarian bouillon cube
2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon lime juice
¼ cup of jarred jalapenos
1 green onion, chopped

The following spices are to taste:
cumin
chili powder
garlic powder
cayenne pepper
fresh ground black pepper

As for directions, it is pretty simple. Mix all of the ingredients together well and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Tonight, we are going out for dinner, but I will be back tomorrow, possibly with some tempeh Rubens for you to view. I am still letting the pickles do their thing and I hope to open them on Saturday.

Have a great day and keep cooking!